- Built in :
- Built by :
- Location : Jaipur
The City Palace is an imposing blend of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal art and architecture.
The City Palace complex houses several palatial structures. The first building in it is Mubarak Mahal, built by Maharaja Madho Singh. It has a beautifully carved marble gate with heavy brass doors on either side of this gate. Beyond this gate lies the Diwan -e-Khas, or the “Hall of Private Audience”.
Across a paved square lies the Diwan-e-Aam, or the “Hall of Public Audience”. To the north-west is the stately and graceful seven storeyed Chandra Mahal, the residence of the ex-ruler. Each storey has a distinctive name and is a place of sheer beauty and luxury. Paintings, floral decorations, mirror walls and ceilings in the traditional style adorn the palace.
The uppermost storey is called the Mukut Mahal. Opposite the chandra Mahal lies the Baldal Mahal. The Govind Devji temple stands inthe middle of the Chandra Mahal and Badal Mahal.
A delightful system of fountains is placed in the middle of the paved path between the Chandra Mahal and the Badal Mahal. The palace has extensive and sprawling gardens.
- Built in :
- Built by : Raja Man Singh, Sawai Jai Singh
- Location : Jaipur
At a short distance of 11 kms . from Jaipur, the Amer Fort complex stands amidst wooded hills overlooking the Delhi-Jaipur highway, with its forbidding ramparts reflected in the still waters of the Maota Lake below.
One of the finest examples of Rajput architecture, it was the ancient capital of the Kachhawah rulers. The original palace was built by Raja Man Singh and additions were made later by Sawai Jai Singh.
Within the palace are the Diwan-e-Aam or the “Hall of Public Audience”, the Diwan-e-Khas or the “Hall of Private Audience” and the Sukh Niws where a cool breeze blows across channels of water for the purpose of air-conditioning.
Here are the private chambers of the queens with windows having latticed screens so that the ladies could watch the proceedings of the royal court inprivacy. There is also the Jai Mandir or the “Temple of Vicotry”, with its famed Sheesh Mahal, the scintillating “Hall of Mirrors”.
- Built in : 1799
- Built by : Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh.
- Location : Jaipur
Hawa Mahal (literal meaning, palace of the winds) is an important landmark of the city of Jaipur, the pink city of India. It is an interesting building, although it is actually little more than a façade. This honeycombed building was originally built to facilitate the women of the royal household to watch the everyday life and processions of the city.
The city of Jaipur reflects a clever amalgamation of the Rajput and Mughal styles, which has given this city a unique character. Being close to Delhi and Agra, and the fact that its rulers were powerful members of the Mughal durbar (court), ensured that its rulers kept the special Mughal touches of filigreeing marble and sandstone alive. Fresco painting and inlaid mirror work has also been used extensively to create a fantasy world of color and richness in the midst of bleak surroundings. This love for decoration was not confined to the royal houses but filtered down to the common man as well. This is apparent when one takes a walk down the broad streets of this delightful city.
Jaipur was founded in 1727 by one of the greatest rulers of the Kachhawaha clan, the astronomer-king Sawai Jai Singh II (1699-1743), and designed by the brilliant architect Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya. Later rulers made their own contributions to the city by building more palaces and temples during their reign. Designed in accordance with ancient Hindu treatise on architecture, the Shilpa Shastra, Jaipur follows a grid system and is encircled by a fortified wall. The main palace lies in the heart of the city and occupies the space of the central grid. The rest of the grids were cut across neatly by wide lanes, which divided the area into tidy, well-laid rectangles of commercial and residential use.
Most places of interest are located mainly in the walled city. The City Palace complex is the most important landmark of Jaipur and has a number of interesting buildings within its precincts. If one were to select the most outstanding of all buildings in the walled city, or the most unusual, then the Hawa Mahal would easily stand out. Built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, this remarkable structure adjoins the outside of the City Palace wall. Sawai Pratap Singh was a great devotee of Lord Krishna and he dedicated this mahal to the Lord, its intricate exterior wall looks like a mukut (crown), which adorns Lord Krishna’s head. It overlooks one of the main street and lies sandwiched between more prosaic buildings.
This five-story, pyramid-shaped structure is made up of small casements, each with tiny windows and arched roofs with hanging cornices, exquisitely modeled and carved. Its façade makes Hawa Mahal look more like a screen than a palace. Its top three stories are just a single room thick but at the base are two courtyards. It is a fifty-foot high thin shield, less than a foot in thickness, but has over 900 niches and a mass of semi-octagonal bays, carved sandstone grills, finials and domes, which give this palace its unique façade.
There is no definite record as to why Hawa Mahal was built, only conjecture. It certainly was not meant for residential purposes. That becomes clear if one were to view this unusual structure from the rear side. There is a total lack of ornamentation on the inner face of the building. The chambers are plain and more mass of pillars and passages leading to the top story. It does not seem to be part of the same building.
Built at a time when royal ladies observed very strict purdah (covering the faces), it is widely believed that this interesting palace, with its screened balconies, provided the ladies of the zenana (royal household) an opportunity to watch processions and other activities on the streets below without being observed themselves. The openings here are almost like peepholes, partially block by fine latticework in lime plaster, and some with plain wooden windows. The Hawa Mahal lives up to its name as one climbs up to the balconies and is almost swept away by the cool breeze. The royal ladies not only enjoyed the view but also did so in great comfort and style. Today, Hawa Mahal provides the visitor with some excellent views of the city and a bird’s eye view of the Jantar Mantar (a medieval observatory and an important tourist place in Jaipur). The best time to view Hawa Mahal is sunrise when it catches the early morning sun and is bathed in its golden light making it glow like a gem. The entrance to this strange building is on the rear side.
- Built in : 1724 A.D
- Built by : Sawai Jai Singh II
- Location : Jaipur
Jantar Mantar is the most famous and elaborate observatory of its time.
It was constructed in the year 1724 A.D. by Sawai Jai Singh II, even before the city of Jaipur was built, and has been described as the most surrealistic and logical landscape instone.
It was built to measure the local time, the sun’s declination, altitude, the declination of stars, planets and to determine eclipses.
- Built in : 1726
- Built by : Jai Singh
The Western skyline is dominated by the extensive walls, watch towers and gateways of Jaigarh built by Jai Singh in 1726. It is one of the few military structures of medevial India preserved almost intact, containing palaces, gardens, open and covered reservoirs, a granary, an armoury, a canon foundary and several Temples. It was the royal treasury for several years. The world’s largest cannon on wheels is to be found here. The fort has its own museum and provides an excellent view of Amer Palace.